CHINA> Regional
Closer monitoring advised for world's highest wetlands
Updated: 2009-01-12 11:03

XINING  -- A political advisor in northwest China's Qinghai Province proposed on Sunday closer monitoring of the world's highest and largest wetlands, the Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve, by deploying ecological monitors and keepers in its core area.

Fan Zengcheng, a member of the Qinghai Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the provincial advisory body, suggested a perennial post be established in the core area of the reserve, mostly remote and sparsely populated, to provide updated information to ecologists and engineers.

"First-hand and timely information is expected to save ecologists and engineers a lot of money and trouble since they will not have to trudge onto the plateau for data," Fan said. "That will benefit the work to preserve the vulnerable region."

Sanjiangyuan, meaning "the source of three rivers" literally, is an area where the Yangtze River, the Yellow River and the Lancang River originate.

Covering 363,000 square km, the area is located more than 4,000meters above sea level.

Wetlands in the region are shrinking, mostly a result of climate changes, overgrazing and excessive exploitation of rivers.

Fan also proposed to select and train herders that were moved out of the region for the new post.

With a massive ecological preservation project in 2005, China moved herders out of vulnerable areas in Sanjiangyuan to restore pastureland.

The country has earmarked 16.5 billion yuan (2.4 billion US dollars) to protect and restore its wetlands during the 11th five-year-plan period (2006-2010).